The Suns won the practice match 12.8 (80) to 8.7 (55) on the Gold Coast.
Two moments of brilliance from Cairns product Charlie Dixon sparked a five-goal run in the third term to end what had been an arm wrestle until that point, with the forward reeling in two tough marks which led to goals.
Gary Ablett also scored a brace of goals while 20-year-old Aaron Hall, who was one of the Suns' best on ground, kicked three.
James Sellar had three for the visitors.
Gold Coast welcomed back big guns Ablett, Karmichael Hunt and Jarrod Harbrow in a tough final hitout before the regular season played at the unusual time of 11.50am (AEST) with the temperature nudging 30 degrees.
And it didn't take long for Ablett to get into the game, with the 2009 Brownlow medallist slotting through a pin-perfect kick from a tough angle on the right flank.
In contrast, the Demons limped into the game with a shopping list of injury problems, headed by the absences of co-captain Jack Trengove and superboot Mitch Clark.
The Suns controlled the mid-field in the opening quarter and enjoyed a wealth of forward running, but were cruelled by basic errors that cost them the chance to mount scoreboard pressure.
That was highlighted by Aaron Hall who broke away from the pack only to shank a straight-forward goal attempt in front, with Melbourne taking a 2.3 (15) to 1.0 (6) lead into the first break.
The Demons then piled on two quick goals early in the second quarter through Cameron Pederson and Mark Jamar to open up a 21-point lead before Hall took a great mark in traffic and converted to stem the bleeding.
Goals to Ablett and Harbrow locked the scores up and Gold Coast had plenty of chances to push out to a big lead but missed four further shots at goal, instead heading into the main break ahead by just two points.
Melbourne goaled first through Sellar but it did not get any better than that for the visitors, with the Suns piling on five unanswered goals - including two from brilliant Dixon marks - to streak away to a 25-point lead at the final change.
The two teams went goal for goal in the final term, but the damage done in the third quarter was too much for the Demons to overcome.